AAR reports strong rail carload and intermodal volumes for week ending May 21

By Staff
May 27, 2011 - LM Editorial

Rail traffic was solid for the week ending May 21, according to data released by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Carload volume—at 295,148—was up 2.3 percent compared to the same timeframe last year and slightly ahead of the week ending May 14 at 294,271. It was also behind the week ending April 2, which hit 305,905 carloads, marking the highest weekly carload tally since the end of 2008.

Carload volume was up 0.9 percent in the East and up 3.3 percent out West. Carloads on a year-to-date basis are at 5,822,505 for a 3.3 percent annual gain.

Intermodal volume—at 234,235 trailers and containers—was up 8.7 percent from last year. This was ahead of the week ending May 14 at 231,875. Intermodal volumes are being boosted in part by modal shifts by carriers looking for financial relief from increasing fuel prices.

As LM has reported, truckload carriers and shippers are moving more freight via intermodal, even though it typically adds at least a day or two to transit times.

Of the 20 commodity groups tracked by the AAR, 12 were up annually. Grain was up 12.9 percent, and metallic ores were up 11.5 percent. Primary forest products were down 10.1 percent.

Estimated ton-miles for the week were 32.8 billion for a 3.5 percent annual increase, and on a year-to-date basis, the 652.3 billion ton-miles recorded are up 4.3 percent.



Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

While the volume decline was steep, there was numerous reasons behind it, including terminal congestion, protracted contract negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and other supply chain-related issues, according to POLA officials.

Truckload rates for the month of January, which measures truckload linehaul rates paid during the month, saw a 7.9 percent annual hike, and intermodal rates dropped 0.3 percent compared to January 2014, which the report pointed out marks the first annual intermodal pricing decline since December 2013.

Largely leveraging the net positive impact of lower fuel prices, the Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) from freight transportation consultancy FTR made major strides in December, the most recent month for which data is available.

With the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) recently agreeing to a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract last weekend covering about 20,000 port employees at 29 West Coast ports following roughly nine months of stops and starts and acrimonious negotiations, the focus for all port and supply chain stakeholders is firmly on the future.

Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach Plan to Cooperate on Environmental, Security, Legislative, Supply Chain Logistics and Marketing Initiatives.

About the Author

Jeff Berman, News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA